[Octopus]: Arthur - Aculeatus, my first octopus

Discussion in 'Cephalopod Journals' started by Reggie, Oct 1, 2014.

  1. Reggie

    Reggie Blue Ring Supporter Registered

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    I was suggested making a journal of my octopus, so here we go! I'm getting my first octopus in about 2 months as I just got my aquarium up and running. The species isn't confirmed yet, but there is a high chance it'll be a vulgaris (and if it is a vulgaris, it's most likely from Bali according to my LFS). Anyways, this will be a pre-octopus post so not really much interesting. Gonna leave a few pics of my aquarium system.

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    Got myself 3 cleaner shirmps, 3 fire shrimp, 1 hermit crab that ate 2 of my snails, now only 4 snails, 2 clownfish as well as an imperator fish
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    My sump system
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    The back and the overflow
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    Using this neat little box here as overflow. I will have to cut the top of my aquarium to fit it in because right now the lid is laying on top of it. I'm aware that I also need to build caves for him, but I'll get to that later on. The only 2 pipes that take in water is the circulation pump to the left on the first pic, but the holes on it are so small that I'm not gonna worry about it unless I see it starting to chop up my octopus. The other one is the overflow where I've put a sponge, but will have to "lock" it there so Arthur doesn't rip it out and go down to the sump. Also the lid will obviously have to be secured, but thats alright, I can fix that. The only thing I'm not sure how to fix is the fluorescents as they would be on the inside of the aquarium. Will this be problem?
     
    Last edited: Oct 1, 2014
  2. DWhatley

    DWhatley Cthulhu Staff Member Moderator

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    Welcome Reggie! One thing I don't see in your set up is a skimmer in the sump. I highly recommend adding one. There are tons of discussions about skimmers and how much you need to spend on them but for ceph ink, it is important to at least have one and good low end models work for me.

    If your animal comes from Indonesia, it will most likely be in the Abdopus family (ie not a vulgaris). We see two complexes coming from their, one is the Adopus (often the much enjoyed diurnal aculeatus) and the other Macropus (a nocturnal group). I have captured a few links to discussions for new keepers here and the Species topic should be of interest. I also recommend reading all the stickied posts in the octopus care forum to better understand what to expect.

    Looking forward to your progress!
     
  3. Reggie

    Reggie Blue Ring Supporter Registered

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    Okay, thank you for the tips. Actually if you look at the 2nd picture you can see the skimmer to the right there, hanging on the outside of the sump :)
     
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  4. Inkman

    Inkman Vampyroteuthis Registered

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    Hi Reggie welcome how big is ur tank and if your octopus is anything like mine you won't have any shrimp or crabs left lol and the fish may make your octopus hide more than normal or even pick at it other than that good luck they are so much fun to interact with.
     
  5. DWhatley

    DWhatley Cthulhu Staff Member Moderator

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    Thanks for mentioning the clown Inkman, I saw it and forgot to comment. My standing recommendation is NO FISH or any kind with an octopus. Often people cycle with damsels and accept the thought that the octopus will eat it (they are particularly hard to catch). I always recommend all fish be removed before adding an octopus. They will pester an octopus looking for food, sometimes attacking it, resulting, as Inkman noted, limiting the time it is out of its cave. All cephs are susceptible to stress ailments that effect their health and physical attacks can lead to infections that don't heal easily.

    SOME shrimp survive an octopus but few. There is no harm to the octopus to leave them in the tank.

    The new keeper's discussion links post I linked above includes proven tankmates along with some that are strongly not recommended.
     
  6. Reggie

    Reggie Blue Ring Supporter Registered

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    Hey Inkman, thanks :) The tank is 450l. I'm aware that the shrimp and crab will be eaten, but didn't know the fish could be picking on him. Actually I thought he would just eat everything live in there. I guess I'll remove the fish before he comes in then.

    EDIT: Sorry, it's 240l
     
    Last edited: Oct 3, 2014
  7. Inkman

    Inkman Vampyroteuthis Registered

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    Arthur may eat fish but in my opinion its not worth the chance its hard enough just to get to house and aclimated without overstressing to them
     
  8. DWhatley

    DWhatley Cthulhu Staff Member Moderator

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    63 gallons (240 liters) is a good sized tank for all the animals we typically see available in the US. Vulgaris needs (usually) a larger tank. The US vulgaris is smaller than the Mediterranean animal but still needs a tank in excess of 130 gallons (~500 liters). This would be small for a Mediterranean animal and 300 gallons has been suggested as the minimum size (~1135 liters) but we have no recorded experience with them. As I mentioned, in the US it is rare to see vulgaris in the hobby trade and we have no recorded vulgaris from Indonesia so hopefully, Arthur will be Abdopus aculeatus.

    You can offer dead fish as a food item (not suggesting that you kill the clown for this purpose). Almost anything from the ocean that the animal will accept can be considered a food item. Their primary needs are met with crab (live preferable but disable any claws) and shrimp - fish should be a supplementary but not primary item. Human seafood items are usually readily accepted and can be thawed frozen foods.

     
  9. Reggie

    Reggie Blue Ring Supporter Registered

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    I see. So if it is really from Indonesia, it's not a vulgaris at all? Also I have the impression that most Indonesian octopuses don't get very big, isn't that so? Oh, and could you recommend any books on cephalopods? Caring/encyclopedias/study books?
     
  10. DWhatley

    DWhatley Cthulhu Staff Member Moderator

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    If you read my "box of chocolates" post you should be getting the idea that the people who provide octopuses for sale (the entire chain - the people that catch them, the people that import them and the local vendors) have little knowledge of octopus species. As hobbyists we need to accept this, especially knowing that the experts often have difficulty identifying many species, particularly from photos or short exposure.

    O. vulgaris (as a complex, there are local differences) are the most common species and are found world wide, typically in colder water than a typical warm water aquarium (we do have a Caribbean variety in the US that is smaller but is not as common as our Common Caribbean Octopus - O. briareus - that looks nothing at all like a vulgaris :roll:. It will sometimes be tagged that way because of its common name). However, the use of the name is often a mislabeling. Its common name is, common octopus. This naming often tags the most common octopus in an area as vulgaris, regardless of the actual species. In Indonesia, a common animal is aculeatus (or at least one of the animals in the Abdopus complex). Aculeatus is not a large animal and will be well suited for your tank. The second most common we see imported from this area is nocturnal and in the Macropus complex. It is also well suited for your tank so you should be OK with anything coming from that area. The is likely little difference between the US and Norway as to what is imported from the region but it will be interesting to see which piece of chocolate shows up :grin:

    Note: In case my "box of chocolates" reference does not make sense
    I assume that everyone, regardless of country, is familiar with boxes of chocolate coated candy with varying contents inside the chocolate covering. The reference comes from no knowing what kind of filling you get until you bite into it.
     
  11. Reggie

    Reggie Blue Ring Supporter Registered

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    Can anyone recommend any books on cephalopods? Also is there any automatic feeder that fits shrimp? I know there are tons of different feeders, but haven't found anyone yet that can fit frozen shrimp, pretty much the same size as the ones I have in the aquarium.
     
  12. DWhatley

    DWhatley Cthulhu Staff Member Moderator

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    To our knowledge, there is only one book on keeping cephalopods for hobbyists, written by two (one current, one previous) staff: Cephalopods: Octopuses and Cuttlefish for the Home Aquarium by Colin Dunlap and Nancy King.

    There is a list of additional reading sources in the Culture forum stickied as Cephalopod Book Lists as well as linked references to papers by TONMO members in the Octopus' Den under Member Publications.

    Automatic feeders will not work well with frozen as it deteriorates too quickly. even a small amount of residue will smell, it will create ammonia and the octopus will most likely not have anything to do with it. Experience recomends the need to feed live or freshly thawed by hand (most use a feeding stick but still hand feeding vs placing dead in the aquarium). For short times away (two or three days), live crabs can be placed in the tank (they may be eaten in one day but will be enough to feed the animal as they are often fed every other or every third day) but we highly recommend having someone come to the home to feed.
     
  13. Reggie

    Reggie Blue Ring Supporter Registered

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    Say I'm gone for 2 weeks, wouldn't it be alright to place lots of crabs in there? 1 per day or so?
     
  14. DWhatley

    DWhatley Cthulhu Staff Member Moderator

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    Two weeks (even a week is unlikely to be successful) is too long to leave it unattended with a supply of food. Live food would be consumed too quickly and that much waste in the aquarium will produce toxins that will poison the water.
     
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  15. Reggie

    Reggie Blue Ring Supporter Registered

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    Okay. How long can it go without food?
     
  16. A. Cuttlefish

    A. Cuttlefish Blue Ring Registered

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    I'm not sure. These guys seem to be always hungry, so leaving them without food for one day might fine but I think with absolutely no food for a few days... Well, let's just say I don't think people would want to take that risk. I don't think they have auto feeders for shrimp. I did think of doing that when on holiday, but I searched and didnt find anything
     
  17. DWhatley

    DWhatley Cthulhu Staff Member Moderator

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    I feed daily but there are keepers who feed every three days. Lowering the temperature to about 72 might help a little but you will need to feed multiple (depending on the size of the octopus) live crabs and have someone to come in and remove the shells, top off the tank with fresh water and add new by the third day.
     
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  18. QueenB

    QueenB Vampyroteuthis Supporter

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    Houdini eats every 3, days even if I offer it sooner. I'm experimenting with smaller portions more often now since she has gotten larger but each Octo is different.
    You should have someone feed him while you are gone and they can use bamboo skewers with thawed pieces of raw shrimp, silversides, salmon, ect... I prep mine all up first, then put them in small Rubbermaid containers to freeze. I grab a piece out, thaw it, and give it to her.
    The food should be chopped small enough for the Octo to consume. Too big and it spoils and turns the water foul pretty fast.
    I would have a trusted friend or family member come over a few times and learn with you how the feeding process goes and how to inspect the tank and surroundings in case of an escape.
    I wouldn't leave them unattended or unfed any longer then 2-3 days maximum.
    Even if you have crabs in the tank they wouldn't last too long, and need to be removed after consumption.
     
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  19. Reggie

    Reggie Blue Ring Supporter Registered

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    Hey again. Was just thinking I would post an update. So I'm getting my octopus the next few days. Things are looking great and its most likely a wunderpus instead of the previously thought abdopus aculeatus. I've heard the wunderpus is threatened, but sadly it was the only one availible. Also I was wondering if the light hanging like in the picture attached would be alright or if it could be of any harm to the octopus?
     

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    Last edited: Nov 15, 2014
  20. DWhatley

    DWhatley Cthulhu Staff Member Moderator

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    The octopuses that we keep in aquariums need a dark place to den but there is no known issue with lighting for 8 to 12 hours. The fish, however, is another concern.
     

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